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There’s a variety of symptoms of COVID-19. Getty Images
  • Coronaviruses cause respiratory illnesses, so the lungs are usually affected first.
  • Early include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These appear as soon as 2 days, or as long as 14 days, after exposure to the virus.
  • But damage can also occur in other parts of the body, especially during serious illness.

All data and statistics are based on publicly available data at the time of publication. Some information may be out of date.

体育投注网址There’s still a lot we don’t know about the new coronavirus that’s sickened more than , with more than 230,000 deaths reported.

体育投注网址But one thing that’s clear is that in serious cases, the virus can have a devastating effect on the body — and not just on the lungs.

体育投注网址Here’s what we know so far about how COVID-19, the disease the new coronavirus causes, affects the different systems in the body.

illnesses — including SARS, MERS, and the common cold — COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, so the lungs are usually affected first.

Early include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These appear as soon as 2 days, or as long as 14 days, after exposure to the virus.

While fever is at the top of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of symptoms, not everyone who gets sick has a fever. In one study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that around of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 didn’t have a fever.

体育投注网址Cough is more common, but treatment guidelines developed by found that cough occurs in 68 to 83 percent of people who show up at the hospital with COVID-19.

体育投注网址Only 11 to 40 percent had shortness of breath.

体育投注网址Other less common symptoms included confusion, headache, nausea, and diarrhea.

体育投注网址The severity of COVID-19 varies from mild or no symptoms to severe or sometimes fatal illness. Data on more than 17,000 reported cases in China found that of cases were mild. The rest were severe or critical.

Older people and those with chronic medical conditions appear to have a for developing severe illness.

体育投注网址This variability also shows up in how COVID-19 affects the lungs.

Some people may only have 体育投注网址, while others develop non-life-threatening pneumonia. But there’s a subset of people who develop severe lung damage.

“What we’re frequently seeing in patients who are severely ill with [COVID-19] is a condition that we call acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS,” said , a member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine Leadership Council and an associate professor of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.

ARDS doesn’t happen just with COVID-19. A can trigger it, including infection, trauma, and sepsis.

These cause damage to the lungs, which leads to fluid leaking from small blood vessels in the lungs. The fluid collects in the lungs’ air sacs, or alveoli. This makes it difficult for the lungs to transfer oxygen from the air to the blood.

While there’s a shortage of information on the type of damage that occurs in the lungs during COVID-19, a recent report suggests it’s 体育投注网址 to the damage caused by SARS and MERS.

One recent of 138 people hospitalized for COVID-19 found that on average, people started having difficulty breathing 5 days after showing symptoms. ARDS developed on average 8 days after symptoms.

体育投注网址 involves supplemental oxygen and mechanical ventilation, with the goal of getting more oxygen into the blood.

“There isn’t a specific treatment for ARDS,” Evans said. “We just support the person through this process as best we can, allowing their bodies to heal and their immune system to address the underlying events.”

One curious thing about COVID-19 is that many patients have potentially deadly , but they don’t seem starved of oxygen. This has led some doctors to simply because of low oxygen levels in the blood.

体育投注网址, such as nausea or diarrhea, although these symptoms are much less common than problems with the lungs.

While coronaviruses seem to have an easier time entering the body through the lungs, the intestines aren’t out of reach for these viruses.

体育投注网址Earlier reports identified the viruses that cause and in intestinal tissue biopsies and stool samples.

Two recent studies — one in the and a preprint on — report that stool samples of some people with COVID-19 tested positive for the virus.

However, researchers don’t know yet whether fecal transmission of this virus can occur.

体育投注网址 that the virus directly damages the heart.

In one study of hospitalized patients in Wuhan, had some form of heart damage. In another, 体育投注网址 of those in an intensive care unit (ICU) had an irregular heart rhythm.

体育投注网址There are also signs that COVID-19 may cause the . It’s not clear how much this plays in the severity of the illness, but clots could increase the risk of a stroke or heart attack.

into the bloodstream.

Elevated liver enzymes aren’t always a sign of a serious problem, but this laboratory finding was seen in people with or .

In one study of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, had kidney failure.

One recent 体育投注网址 found signs of liver damage in a person with COVID-19. Doctors says it’s not clear, though, if the virus or the drugs being used to treat the person caused the damage.

Some people hospitalized with COVID-19 have also had , sometimes requiring a kidney transplant. This also occurred with and .

During the SARS outbreak, scientists even found the virus that causes this illness in the tubules of the kidneys.

There’s “little evidence,” though, to show that the virus directly caused the kidney injury, according to a .

, a research professor of pediatrics in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, says the kidney damage may be due to other changes that happen during coronavirus infection.

体育投注网址“When you have pneumonia, you have less oxygen circulating,” he said, “and that can damage the kidneys.”

.” The immune cells produce cytokines to fight infection, but if too many are released, it can cause problems in the body.

体育投注网址“A lot of [the damage in the body during COVID-19] is due to what we would call a sepsis syndrome, which is due to complex immune reactions,” Evans said. “The infection itself can generate an intense inflammatory response in the body that can affect the function of multiple organ systems.”

体育投注网址Another thing about the immune system is that, so far, there are almost no cases of COVID-19 in . Scientists aren’t sure whether young children aren’t getting infected or their symptoms are so mild that .

体育投注网址Cherry says children also have a less severe illness than adults during other kinds of infections, including measles and pneumococcal infections.

体育投注网址He says this may be because children have a “straightforward immune response,” whereas older people can sometimes have an “over-response.” It’s this excess immune response that causes some of the damage during infections.

“There was evidence of this happening during SARS,” Cherry said, “and I suspect it could also be playing out here [with COVID-19].”